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Accreditation of residential aged care moves to a new phase.



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Media Release Department of Health and Aged Care

Monday 1 January, 2001

ACCREDITATION OF RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE MOVES TO A NEW PHASE The first phase of the accreditation process, designed to improve the quality of care in Australia's residential aged care services, is now complete and within the time-frame laid in the Government's legislation.

The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency today announced that it has accredited some 2938 residential aged care services prior to the January 1, 2001, deadline for accreditation which means they will continue to receive Commonwealth residential care subsidies (which represents 75% of the cost of care for residents).

For a variety of reasons a small number of facilities that have made serious efforts to reach accreditation standards were unable to do so by the deadline.

Under the Aged Care Act 1997, the Department has the power to continue to pay residential care subsidies for a period of up to six months if the Secretary of the Department (or his delegate) decides exceptional circumstances exist.

A total of 20 facilities were found to qualify for such an extension of their subsidies for up to six months while they make the necessary improvements to achieve the accreditation process.

One unaccredited facility (in Victoria) was not granted an exceptional circumstances determination. This facility with 2 Government funded residents will continue to be case managed and have Departmental nurses closely monitoring to ensure continuity of care. Full assistance will be given should they wish to move to a new facility.

Decisions regarding the granting of these extensions were based on the details of each case and made with the best interests of the residents involved firmly in mind.

Extensions have not been granted in any situation where the safety or well being of residents would be compromised.

Facilities that were granted an extension of their subsidies will be closely monitored against the standards over the next six months, including through scheduled visits and random and targeted spot checks.

Accreditation is a process of continuous improvement and those facilities that are accredited will also be monitored and may be subject to spot checks to ensure the quality of care and services continue to improve.

Providers that do not continue to meet the accreditation standards may have their accreditation revoked or sanctions applied.

The accreditation process has been designed to ensure frail older Australians in residential facilities receive the best possible care.

This is complemented by the process of certification, which focuses on improving the physical environment in residential care facilities.

Importantly, these processes amount to the first concerted attempt to methodically improve care and building standards, including fire safety, in Australia's residential aged care facilities.

These and other reforms have led to approximately $800 million being spent on capital works to improve and upgrade aged care accommodation.

Although 2938 residential aged care services are now accredited, the Department will continue to react swiftly to any complaints through the Complaints Resolution Scheme (1800 550 552).

Accreditation has been granted to 954 facilities in NSW/ACT, 495 in Queensland, 806 in Victoria, 318 in South Australia/Northern Territory, 98 in Tasmania and 267 in Western Australia.

Exceptional circumstances extensions have been granted to 2 facilites in NSW, 16 in Victoria, 1 in Tasmania and 1 in Western Australia. All operating facilities in Queensland, South Australia, ACT and Northern Territory have been granted accreditation.

Media Contact: Julie Marginson 0402 284 494 Shaun Anthony 0402 890 430

FACT SHEET

ACCREDITATION OF AUSTRALIA'S AGED CARE FACILITIES - THE ACHIEVEMENTS

In line with the aged care reforms introduced in 1997, the accreditation of nearly 3000 residential aged care facilities has achieved the following results:

For the first time an effective ongoing accreditation system has been established, which has raised the standard of care for the 135,000 residents currently in Commonwealth funded aged care facilities.

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Accreditation means a facility has met the Government's new standards and is committed to continuous improvement. ●

As at January 1, a total of 2,938 aged care services in Australia are now accredited. ● 20 facilities have been deemed to be accredited for six months because of exceptional circumstances. These facilities have made serious efforts to reach accreditation standards but were unable to do so by the deadline.

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No extensions have been granted in any situation where the safety or well being of ●

residents would be compromised.

Since the introduction of the Aged Care Act in 1997, government representatives have conducted over 12,000 visits to Australia's aged care facilities. ●

For the first time, every Commonwealth funded aged care facility in the country has been visited at least once.

3,000 accreditation site visits conducted by the Agency ❍ over 2,000 further visits to facilities. ❍ Some 600 spot checks - both random and targeted - have been made to monitor standards. ❍

6,260 resident classification scale visits resulting in the inspection of 36,500 care plans since the introduction of the Aged Care Act 1997. ❍

●

The Federal Government is spending $3.9 billion on aged care this financial year-an increase of $1.4 billion since 1996. Since March 1999, the Government has allocated 22,000 aged care places to meet the need for growth.

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Since 1997, more than $800 million has been spent on building or capital works. ● Aged care reforms have helped drive industry restructure with the Department approving the closure and/or relocation of 190 aged care facilities (representing 6,678 places) over the past three years. This has ensured that aged care residents

are placed in accommodation that delivers higher standards of care.

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The Agency is continuing to work with accredited services, monitoring their compliance with the Accreditation Standards and assisting them through ongoing support contacts (including planned visits and random spot checks). More than 400 support contacts with accredited services have already taken place.

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Breakdown of accreditation status by state (As at 31 December 2000)

State No. of Residential Aged Care Facilities

Total no. awarded Accreditation Total no. awarded exceptional

circumstances

NSW/ ACT 956 954 2 (NSW)

QLD 495 495 0

VIC 823 806 16

SA/NT 318 318 0

TAS 99 98 1

WA 268 267 1

TOTAL 2959 2938 20

Further information on the accreditation process is available on the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency website at www.accreditation.aust/com/reports or by contacting Julie Marginson (Department of Health and Aged Care) 0402 284 494.

Facilities granted extensions on the grounds of exceptional circumstances

Facility Name State

The Ritz Nursing Home NSW

Bamfield Nursing Home NSW

St Joseph's Centre Hostel VIC

Coburg Haven Hostel VIC

Bellhaven Hostel VIC

Gardenview House VIC

Mont Calm Nursing Home VIC

Inglewood Nursing Home VIC

Edenvale Nursing Home VIC

Mowbray House Private Nursing Home VIC Nazareth House Nursing Home VIC Heywood Nursing Home VIC

New Norfolk Nursing Home TAS Bella Vista Hostel VIC

Maldon Hospital Nursing Home VIC Numbala Nunga Nursing Home WA St Benedict's Private Nursing Home VIC Swan Hill District (Nyah Campus) VIC Kinkora Court Private Nursing Home VIC Belvedere Park Nursing Home VIC

Further details are available at: http://www.health.gov.au/acc/rescare/excpcirc.htm

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©Commonwealth of Australia, 2001

Published on Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care web site 2 January 2001 Publication content last modified on 2 January 2001, Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care URL: http://www.health.gov.au/mediarel/yr2001/dept/mr01001.htm